Woodbine Entertainment Struggles with Lockdown Restrictions

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Woodbine Entertainment & Casino. Image Credit: Shutterstock

Horse racing has been put on hold in Ontario again after a recent government order imposed new stay-at-home lockdown restrictions.

With the latest curtailment of live racing events in Ontario, Woodbine Entertainment once again is pushing for a speedy resumption of the activities. The horseracing leader has sent an official request to the mayor of Milton to discuss the possibility of reopening the tracks.

The last 13 months have been disastrous for horseracing in Ontario, with several pauses and restarts already having taken place. The horseracing events last recommenced in February and have been put on hold again at the beginning of April, with a fresh 28-day stay-at-home order.

Official Request

A formal letter from Woodbine Entertainment has been sent to Gordon Krantz, the mayor of Milton, to discuss the importance of live racing for the region. In the letter, Woodbine Entertainment emphasises the safety of horse people and the community, but is hopeful that racing can resume after lockdown restrictions end.

According to the letter, the industry is severely hurt by the continuous changes in lockdown restrictions, forcing many horse people to relocate to the US so that they can continue to take part in such events. There are concerns that repeated pauses can lead to long-term harm to the industry, with hundreds of thousands of jobs at stake in the Greater Toronto area and the Halton region.

As stated, it is of utmost importance that live racing season resumes after the stay-at-home order is lifted in May since thousands of families rely on the sector for income. Additionally, Woodbine Entertainment revealed that it held promising talks with the provincial premier to gain permission for live harness races to rake place during lockdown conditions.

The discussions outlined the health protocols and the successful implementation of mandatory regulations at horseracing premises in the province before the recent closure. The corporation notes that over 2,600 races have already taken place since June 2020  without a single case of transmission reported. The provincial government and the health department have backed the horseracing leader in its initiative.

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